Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Watch Hands-On: Thinnest In The World

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Watch Hands-On: Thinnest In The World

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Watch Hands-On: Thinnest In The World Hands-On

At Baselworld 2014, Bulgari (Bvlgari) quietly introduced two ultra-thin versions of the Octo collection that has been a mainstay of their focus for a few years now. The Octo Finissimo is incredibly thin and something I think many people will enjoy. In 2012, Bulgari released their fully in-house branded version of the Octo, a design acquired with the inclusion of the Gerald Genta brand. Genta, who was an extremely talented and legendary designer, created the Octo, as well as other Bulgari products that they continue to produce today. In addition to a very nice manually wound time-only model, the flagship Octo Finissimo model is this Tourbillon model–and as of 2014 it happens to be the thinnest tourbillon in the world.

Last year we went hands-on with the Bulgari Octo on a bracelet, but it was a relatively quiet year until they released a chronograph version. With the Finissimio range they are stepping it up in a way that we did not expect. Ultra-thin movements and cases are very popular right now, but this is the first I can think of that comes in a squared, versus round, case. It also happens to be extremely thin compared to the last holder of the world's thinnest tourbillon watch crown.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Watch Hands-On: Thinnest In The World Hands-On

Bulgari's Octo Finissimo beat out last year's Arnold & Son UTTE (aBlogtoWatch review here) watch as the thinnest tourbillon-based timepiece. It actually beat it by a lot. Interestingly enough the UTTE– while being very thin–wasn't really an exercise is being insanely thin. With the Octo Finissimo, Bulgari really went all out in engineering both a case and movement that would be hard to beat. For example, the movement in the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon is over a millimeter thinner than the movement in the Arnold & Son UTTE.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Watch Hands-On: Thinnest In The World Hands-On

The UTTE's movement was 2.97mm thick while the Bulgari caliber is a scant 1.95mm thick. Further, the UTTE case is 8.34mm thick, while the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon is claimed to be just 5mm thick. It really does feel like a wafer on the wrist while the strap feels thicker than the case. The movement is rather impressive for all that slimness. It is made up of 249 parts, operates at 3 Hz, and has a power reserve of about 55 hours. One of the major ways that the movement was made to be so thin was the use of ball bearings in much of the places where other types of components may have been traditionally used.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Watch Hands-On: Thinnest In The World Hands-On

What do you think?
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  • kaostical

    Those hands look like miniature razors, not my taste.

  • DeanAsh

    Opening up that dial for the rather bland an unattractive tourbillon ruins what was a fine watch. Too thin as well. A beautiful tourbillon watch has depth. I would pay CHF 20,000 for this, let alone CHF 130,000.

  • Ulysses31

    I kinda like it, but only “kinda”.  Ultra thin movements are cool especially when they look presentable as this is.  The octo case is still a confused pile of geometry, but now it is one that someone left on the train-tracks and squashed flat.  Thankfully “Bulgari” only appears once on the watch.  They must have seen the Rolex GMT Master II with “ROLEX ROLEX ROLEX ROLEX…” written on it a million times and realised how trashy it looks.  Sometimes you need an outside perspective to mend your ways.

  • Grinnie Jax

    Well, I appreciate Bulgari for making new record. However, it doesn’t appeal to me, when I forget that it is tourbillon and super-special one. Movement looks plain and boring, if compared even with recent Oris 101, which is 15 times cheaper. Octa case looked fine when it had some 3D appeal, plain it just doesn’t work. The tourbillon hole looks out of place, it even separates “swiss” and “made” by mile distance… When doing super thin watches, do them from zero point, not every case can be just smashed and look wow

  • TheBalanceWhl

    Tell us how you really feel, Ariel!

  • Zeitblom

    The one without the tourbillon is far more attractive. .
    If they had any sense they would price that one reasonably [ie at about a third] and cash in big time

  • I understand that these ultra-thin movements are how manufactures flex their technical prowess, but I’m just tired of ultra-thin watches. At some point, they just get too thin and don;t feel right on the wrist – and I’ve never tried on something this slight, so I can only imagine the feel would be compounded here. 
    The movement side is interesting, actually. With it’s undecorated, almost spartan appearance coupled with it being so flat, it looks more like a drawing of a movement than an actual working one. 
    I like the easy to read dial, and I don;t mind the handset either. I think the slight skeletonization helps to give them a bit of character, wherein full dauphine hands might look at little contrived. 

    Not giving a nod to the late great Mr. Genta is nothing short of criminal.

  • DangerussArt

    Watches are best viewed in the round, so to speak, The richness of depth – the play of light and shadow, the impression of mechanical complexity, all depend on a certain level of 3D balance. Virtually eliminating the Z-axis dimensions leaves it feeling visually and literally flat.  I can appreciate the technical challenge and the mastery of thinness for it’s own sake, but I’m left wanting more. It is precise and well done, but “reads” like a technical thesis rather than fine literature.

  • Fraser Petrick

    A circle with an octagon inside, and a bunch of other angles – and no minute markers? Phooey.
    …Listen to me, knit-picking a $160,000 watch! To quote Rick Santorum: “What a snob!”

    Personally, I like a watch with a bit of heft, not a delicate little wafer.

  • timekeeper703

    Actually…….they priced it at about 1/4 of the tourbillon.  I think its about 28k in platinum.

  • timekeeper703

    Hi Ariel,
    I am curious to where you got the price from?  When I met with them at Basel the price in US dollars was 132k  not 160.
     the petite second version was 26,2o0 US..
    Also just to note that Genta was very much brought up in design codes…..maybe not with you, but with me as a collector and other journalist who were around me for the cocktail party.
    My two cents on the watches is that they have to be seen in person to be appreciated.  If you look at all the known ultra thins on the market and removed the names on the dial they all look alike,.  Atleast this is something a little different.  Is it for everyone, absolutely not, but neither are the other Octos for that matter.
    I think Bulgari is a “damn if you do damn if you dont company”,  They will never when with anyone, not matter what they do.

  • Zeitblom

    timekeeper703  I meant that they should price the non-tourbillon one at one third of what they are asking. But maybe I am missing something — is the non-tourbillon one also in platinum? If so, that would still not justify 28K, but it would just be the usual ridiculous premium for platinum.

  • timekeeper703

    I see what you mean…..Yes its in platinum at 26k.  There is no way this watch could be sold at 8 to 9k.  There are plans I believe to issue a RG and possibly a steel version over the years to come but no Brand who does this type of movement in low numbers could cash in at that price.  Its not a movement that was ordered from Vaucher or LJP in bulk.  Even if it was  I dont believe they would be able to produce that many movements to sell the volume it would take to cash in.

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  • BJS314

    That is not an attractive watch – at all. It quite literally looks like a $50 wristwatch you’d find in the sale bin at Macy’s at the end of Christmas.

  • 5803822

    This is an incredible piece of art work/engineering and deserves to have made mention of Gerald Genta – Bulgari seems to have missed the marketing boat by excluding all mention of him since 2012.
    This one is top of my wish list.

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